Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on May 24, 2016,...

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on May 24, 2016, during a campaign event in Albuquerque, N.M. Credit: AP

Columnist Cathy Young writes that although Donald Trump has “authoritarian instincts and an anti-democratic temperament,” “routinely contradicts himself and hedges his promises” and “has a following of white supremacists whom he seems unwilling to repudiate,” his election as president would not necessarily be a “fatal crisis” for America [“Trump presidency fears misplaced,” Opinion, May 24].

That may be so. However, I fear that the damage resulting from his elevation to our nation’s highest office would really be to our impressionable children.

Children will see that it’s OK and smart to taunt, bully and name-call to win your point. They will see that “throw him out of here” and “take him out on a stretcher” are appropriate responses to a verbal challenge.

Society claims to be distressed by bullying and violence in schools and neighborhoods. We are horrified when children take their own lives or those of others after years of being bullied. We insist that our teachers develop programs to deter bullying. We blame and sue school districts that might have ignored bullies. Yet as parents, grandparents and adult neighbors, we are seriously considering bestowing the most prestigious and visible office in the nation to a person who personifies all that we say we do not want.

As Young rightly concludes, it “is in our hands.”

Eileen Toomey, Huntington Station